This is the time of year when everyone is looking ahead—2023 forecasts, predictions, and business planning are trending topics everywhere you look. 

To fully prepare for the next twelve months, we also need to know and understand what consumers are thinking about. 

Opendoor’s 2023 Housing Trends Report dives into the buyer and seller mindset and delivers five trends that will rule for homeowners in 2023. 

After reviewing the report, BAM continued the conversation with Will Holmes, Opendoor’s Head of Agent Growth, to discuss what agents can do when it comes to consumers’ biggest concerns: affordability and certainty. 

Five Trends to Watch in 2023

Opendoor surveyed current homeowners ages 18 to 65+ to understand what homeowners are looking for—and what they want to get away from—regarding the housing market. 

Opendoor’s five trends to watch in 2023 are: 

  1. Homeowners are focusing on building an emergency fund, with 25% of those surveyed stating it’s their top financial priority.
  2. Affordability is driving relocations. Almost half of the respondents would be willing to move for a more affordable cost of living. 
  3. Location beats out amenities like home gyms and offices, with 40% stating location is their top home feature. 
  4. Respondents would prefer to do away with old real estate traditions, including writing offer letters (35%) and engaging in bidding wars (27%). 
  5. When it comes to home design, classic style remains the most popular choice, with 48% saying farmhouse and natural bohemian styles are their top picks. 

Affordability concerns have buyers turning to relocation

It’s no surprise that affordability remains top of mind as we move into the new year. 

During the second half of 2022, many buyers found themselves priced out of their markets due to rising interest rates and home prices. 

Because of this, more people are considering relocating. Almost half (49%) of survey respondents would move somewhere new for a more affordable cost of living, according to Opendoor’s report.

Opendoor-location-infographic

Source: Opendoor

With remote work an option for many, buyers can search for homes out of state without the added pressure of finding a new job. Many are at least considering relocating as the rising cost of living is making homeownership a challenge. 

Consider how you can help consumers move into or out of your market:

  • Become part of a referral network.
  • Share local market insights for those looking to move to your market.
  • Educate consumers on the national housing market for those ready to move out.
  • Explore options from brokerages and real estate companies that partner with agents to assist consumers with relocation.

That’s something I would be looking out for in 2023—opening up the whole U.S. to agents to think about the relocations that are happening and the movements that are happening cross-state.

Will Holmes

Opendoor's Head of Agent Growth

Bring certainty to the transaction

Another major concern for buyers and sellers is certainty throughout the transaction. A year ago, winning a bidding war was the biggest hurdle for buyers. Now, both sides of the transaction are dealing with an uptick in cancellations and price cuts. 

Certainty seems to be the value proposition that I hear is important from more and more agents and consumers. Obviously, with interest rates climbing, trying to find some certainty in what affordability looks like, and with cancellation rates increasing, folks falling out of contract….That certainty aspect of a transaction is on the forefront of minds for both buyers and sellers—and the agents that they trust to help them navigate their home buying and selling journey.

Will Holmes

Opendoor's Head of Agent Growth

As an agent, you can’t change the market. But you can bring in a sense of certainty as you move through the transaction:

  • Regularly share your knowledge of the local housing market to clear up confusion from misleading headlines. 
  • Be prepared with a range of solutions for common consumer objections.
  • Create personalized plans for each buyer and seller you work with.
  • Build a network of trusted industry professionals to assist throughout the entire transaction.

Doing what worked in 2021-2022 won’t get you far in 2023. The agents who show up with a strong base of solutions and are willing to explore new options for their clients are the ones who will build trust and close deals.